This Sunday in Ballard was a pretty normal afternoon at the intersection of Market and Leary; the shoppers were out munching on cupcakes, dads were pushing drooling toddlers in strollers, teenagers were lining up for the 10000 B.C. matinee, and cell-phone talkers were gabbing away. Then, at precisely 2:22 PM, a whistle blew, and all hell broke loose: Ballard pillow fight!
For exactly five minutes it was all out war as over a hundred people pulled pillows out of backpacks and shopping bags and went nuts on each other. In the melee I recognized friends, said hi, and then slammed them in the face with my CareBears pillow. After the first minute the feathers started flying and filled the air with that magic snow-feel, which soon transferred to my mouth, then my lungs. Can you catch bird lung from inhaling pillows? I guess I’ll find out soon. Can you get rid of pent-up aggression from beating your friends and strangers with a pillow? Heck yes.
I don’t know if you have ever pillow-fought for five whole minutes, but it’s damn good exercise. It’s possible we discovered the next Tai-Bo, the next fad aerobics class. The Flashmob pillow fight was a free-for-all, one of those manic events where you just laugh and laugh the whole way through. We need more pillow fights in the world, more new experiences, more things that make us unable to stop laughing.
After five minutes of absolute bedlam, the whistle sounded again; everyone put their pillows away and walked off like nothing happened. Feathers drifted along 23rd Avenue, freed from their cases. Bystanders were at once confused and intriqued, with a big “WHY?” stamped across their collective furrowed brow. Here’s why, and you might want to write this down: THERE IS NO WHY. We pillow fought so we could pillow fight; to do something with no reason and no why behind it. The shoppers, the stroller-pushers, and the cell-phone gabbers might not remember what they consumed or yakked about, but everyone will remember the day an impromptu pillow fight broke out in Ballard, for no reason whatsoever. They’ll laugh and remember to add more silliness to their lives. And then they’ll choke up a feather.